Sunday Salon – November 8, 2009

Sunday Salon

November 8, 2009

Good morning to all of you. Today it is chilly, but sunny here in Northern California – and I am eager to go outside and enjoy the weather at some point. But right now I’m enjoying a fire in the woodstove and cuddling with the animals as I write.

I have had a great week of reading, finishing not one, but TWO five-star books:

Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving (read my review) was such a fantastic book. I was a little worried when I first picked it up because the last novel by Irving was a disappointment to me (Until I Find You). But I needn’t have worried…Irving has put out another classic, engaging book with Last Night in Twisted River. If you haven’t snagged a copy yet, I highly recommend you do!

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (read my review) was one of those books I bought and then was afraid to read. I knew that Enzo (the dog narrator) dies in the novel…and I wasn’t sure I could handle it. I still miss Caribou – I think of her all the time – and I really wasn’t sure I wanted to read a book which would amplify my sadness. That said, I loved this book. Yes, I cried…but I also laughed, and felt hope, and never wanted the story to end. Stein captured EXACTLY how I feel about my dogs. If you’re a dog person and have ever had a special dog in your life, you really need to read The Art of Racing in the Rain.

My current read is Looking for Pigeon by Maud Carol Markson which I am touring for TLC Book Tours on November 12th (so look for my review on that day). This is a slim, literary novel about a woman who is looking back on the summer she was five years old. During that summer Pigeon was abandoned by her father, leaving her in the care of her eccentric mother who moves Pigeon and her two siblings (Dove and Robin) to the New Jersey shore. I am about half way through the book, and should finish it today.

I am not sure what I will be reading next – I have a whole stack of books to choose from and am leaning towards Wally Lamb’s book The Hour I First Believed. If I could finish it before November 15th, it would allow me to actually complete the Chunkster Challenge. Which reminds me…Dana (who has hosted this challenge for the last couple of years) has decided she cannot take it on again in 2010. I love this challenge, and so I have agreed to pick up the reins. I am thinking of a start date in February and running a year…watch for an update and sign ups sometime in January.

I plan on squeezing in some reading and blogging this morning…and then I’ll be heading down to JJ’s Log Cabin Quilt Shop for a class on the new EQ6 software for quilt design. I haven’t decided whether or not I want to spend my money on this program…so I am hoping the class will help me make a decision.

What are you doing today? Whatever it is, I hope it involves a great book!

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  1. You read two good books. And the Pigeon book looks good too.

    Here is my Sunday Salon post!

    • Vasilly on November 8, 2009 at 09:33

    Looking for Pigeon sounds like a promising read. I can’t wait to read your thoughts on it. Today I’m hoping to finish The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp. Happy reading!

  2. I hope to read a good book today. I just need to decide which one to begin….

    • Lori L on November 8, 2009 at 12:44

    I’m so happy you will continuing the chunkster challenge since that is also one of my favorites. I’ve added Irving’s Last Night in Twisted River to my wish list.

    • EL Fay on November 8, 2009 at 12:49

    I started the Chunkster Challenge but then abandoned it, because it didn’t seem like anyone was maintaining it. Plus, I realized I read a lot of thick books anyway and didn’t really need a challenge. But good luck hosting it!

  3. It’s nice of you to take on the Chunkster Challenge this year. I might have to participate! I’m currently doing four challenges, but I have a feeling I’ll sign on for many more 🙂

    • Lisa on November 8, 2009 at 14:58

    Two five-star books in one week? That’s great week! Boy do the next books you read have a lot to live up to!

    • Staci on November 8, 2009 at 16:53

    I’m glad that you had two 5-star books last week!! Your quilting class sounds fun. Today was absolutely beautiful here in Michigan…the family spent time outside!! Now I’m catching up with blog reading and starting a new book.
    Have a great week 🙂

    • Kathy on November 8, 2009 at 17:25

    We’ve had nice sunny weather today. I’m not ready for cold weather, but reading by a fire does sound inviting.

    • JoAnn on November 8, 2009 at 18:10

    I still haven’t been able to to get through Until I Find You, but that won’t deter me from picking up Last Night in Twisted River!

    • Trisha on November 8, 2009 at 18:17

    What a wonderful reading week! I’m jealous. My week was overrun by television for some reason.

  4. Looks like you had a great week. The Hour I First Believed is a pretty quick read considering how long it is. You may very well finish it before the 15th.

    • Wendy on November 9, 2009 at 08:13

    Gautami: Nice review on your Sunday Salon post!

    Vasilly: I am enjoying Pigeon 🙂 I haven’t read anything by Tharp…the title of that book sounds intriguing!

    Deb: It is always so hard to decide what to read next when there are so many great books staring you in the face, isn’t it?

    Lori: I love the Chunkster Challenge too 🙂 I am trying to decide if I want to create a blog just for that challenge.

    Staci: Sounds like you had a great Sunday!! The quilting class was really interested…I have a feeling I will end up buying the design software 🙂

    Kathy: I like when the weather turns cold here…it is a nice change from the triple digits we see in the summer months!

    JoAnn: Oh, definitely pick up Twisted River…it is far superior to Until I Found You (which I thought needed more aggressive editing!)

    Trisha: It felt good to get some reading done…I’ve been a little slow in my reading the last couple of months.

    Stephanie: Thanks for the positive thoughts on finishing The Hour I First Believed!

    • Jenners on November 9, 2009 at 08:34

    I have “The Art of Racing in the Rain” waiting to be read.
    And I’m curious to see what you think of the Wally Lamb book. I reviewed it earlier this year and thought it had some major flaws.

  5. 2 five star books?! That must feel great! I’ll give Twisted River a read one of these days, but I’ve already tried (and given up on) Art of Racing. Just didn’t care for the voice. Might have been a timing issue, but with so many other books calling to me, this one probably won’t get a second chance.

    I might consider the chunkster challenge. I have quite a few sitting around and I need a little incentive.

    • Wendy on November 20, 2009 at 08:31

    Jenners: I’m getting ready to post by review of Lamb’s book – I agree with the fact there are flaws…will come check out your review after I’ve written mine 🙂

    Les: Sorry Stein’s book didn’t work for you…that happens sometimes (where you don’t connect with the “voice”). Hope you’ll like Irving’s book though!

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